Queen Elisabeth I travels 400 years into the future to witness the appalling revelation of a dystopian London overrun by corruption and a vicious gang of punk guerrilla girls led by the new Monarch of Punk.
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From the distant 16th century, Queen Elisabeth I summons the spirit Ariel with the aid of the court's alchemist, the sage Doctor John Dee, to witness the appalling revelation of a dystopian London drowned in filth and plagued with crime. As a result, the Queen horrified with the vivid vision of a broken-down British Empire, asks to travel beyond the veil of time, some 400 years into the future, to see firsthand, that in this futuristic and horrendous new order, the capital is overrun by a corrupt police and that an autonomous vicious gang of punk guerrilla girls led by the new Monarch of Punk, Bod, has declared a multi-levelled open war. Now that Britain is practically a wasteland, where is her Majesty, the righteous Queen Elisabeth II? Written by
I'm going to be honest right from the start: I've only seen two films from the late Derek Jarman, this and The Last of England (1987). And I must say that neither of them made much of an impression on me. Jubilee tells the disjointed story of Queen Elizabeth I, who bored by her own existence has her court astrologer and an angel invent a time travel devise that will allow her to travel forward to twentieth century Britain. Once again Jarman revels in pointing out the failings in modern British culture, from the violent punk scene that the main characters are part of, to the harsh severity of the music industry and corporate big business. This has no precedence over the plot, because Jubilee has no plot, just a rambling incoherent mish-mash of filth and vulgarity, which Jarman seems to think will help drive his message of a Britain on the brink of self-destruction home. Jubilee is a film that so obviously wanted to be hip it hurts, looking back it seems Jarman took everything that was just about to explode into the public conscious and structured a highly self-indulgent story around it. So we are shown one of the most miss-representative looks at punk one could ever imagine, and a cast that reads like the who's-who of seventies underground celebrities (Richard O Brien rubs shoulders with the likes of a chubby Toyah Wilcox and a pre-fame Adam Ant). Jarman was clearly pandering to his overly inflated ego, after his gay swords and sandals "epic" Sebastiane (1976) was hailed a modern classic. Jubilee is yet another product of art-house cinema gone wrong and film-making in it's most brash and unsubtle form.
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